§ Mr. COOPER
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been directed to the report of an inquest held this month at Wandsworth prison on a tramp named Henry Andrewes, who died in the prison infirmary from heart failure folowing pneumonia; is he aware that Andrewes had been an inmate of the Croydon casual ward, and when his time expired said he was too ill to continue his journey; whether the officials of the Croydon Union refused to listen to his complaint; whether he was seen or examined by any medical officer of the Croydon Union; is he aware that Andrewes, after being turned out of the casual ward, broke a window so that he might get locked up to get proper medical treatment, and was sentenced by the Croydon magistrates to seven days' hard labour; whether the Croydon Board of Guardians have made any inquiry into Andrewes' statement; and, if not, what does he intend to do in the matter?
§ Mr. BURNS
I have seen a copy of the depositions taken at the inquest, and I have made inquiry with regard to the case. It appears that on the day on which Andrewes' time was up for leaving the Croydon Casual Ward, he said that he did not feel well, and that he could not go on his journey. He was consequently examined by the Workhouse medical officer, who did not find anything wrong, and thought he was fit to continue his journey. The medical officer told him he did not consider the case one for infirmary treatment, but if he wished to become an inmate he should apply to the relieving officer for an order of admission. It is the fact that almost immediately afterwards he broke a window in the Workhouse and was sentenced to 7 days' hard labour for wilful damage. The medical officer states that he attended the police court and gave evidence as to the physical condition of the man, who made no complaint then of being ill, and did not appear to be so. The matter has been fully inquired into by a sub-committee of the visiting committee of the Workhouse specially appointed for the purpose, and the statement of the medical officer appears to be supported by the other statements made to them.
§ Mr. COOPER
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been directed to a report of an inquest held at 1236W Wandsworth Prison on a tramp named Henry Andrewes who died in the prison infirmary from heart failure following pneumonia; whether he is aware that Andrewes had been turned out of the Croydon casual ward too ill to continue his journey, and broke a window to get locked up to get medical treatment, and: was sentenced by the Croydon magistrates to seven days' hard labour; whether he is aware that the medical officer of Wandsworth Prison stated at the inquest that he found Andrewes' condition on admission so bad that he placed him at once in the hospital; whether the Croydon police communicated the reason of Andrewes' breaking the window to the magistrates; whether the police surgeon was called upon to advise upon Andrewes' condition before he was brought before the magistrates or after his conviction; and, if not, will he give the reason?
§ Mr. GLADSTONE
I have made inquiry into this case, and am informed that Andrewes, having complained when in the casual ward at Croydon that he felt unwell, was examined by the medical officer of the Croydon Workhouse, who pronounced him to be fit to leave, and referred him to the relieving officer for an order, if he wished to enter the workhouse. Upon this Andrewes broke one of the windows, and was therefore charged by the workhouse authorities. He gave no reason for breaking the window, and did not complain of illness either to the police or to the magistrates. Consequently there was no reason for the police to obtain medical advice. On admission to prison he was found to be so ill-nourished that the assistant medical officer put him in the infirmary instead of an ordinary cell, but no actual illness could be observed until a day later.